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October 23, 1926


JAMA. 1926;87(17):1394-1395. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680170048017

Several months ago, comment was made in The Journal4 on morphologic and physiologic variations in diphtheria bacilli.5 As if the inconstant behavior of this group were not sufficiently confusing, identification has been additionally complicated by the "diphtheroid" organisms. Both groups, now classed together as "corynebacteria,"6 have been the object of attempts at classification since 1888. Whereas efforts expended on the diphtheria organisms proper have met with some success, classification of the diphtheroid types heretofore has been virtually impossible. By the utilization of photomicrography, 6 however, the diphtheroid types have been separated into seventy-two varieties. Development of this method into a practicable procedure has been neither rapid nor easy. About a decade ago, at the end of a year of patient labor about eighty good photomicrographs of the bacteria found in chronic gonorrhea were obtained. Now technic and apparatus have been so improved that an annual output of